I’m going to continue the trend of letting the holidays and holy days give me ideas for themes, and oooh I’m lucky cuz the ones coming up during this next run are thick with potentials for themes and imagery.
Here are your options for February/March 2018:
Conversation hearts (and/or) valentines. Obviously this one’s inspired by that romantic holiday everyone loves to hate, but I’m not looking for stuff inspired by V-Day itself so much as I’m looking for stuff inspired by the ephemera of the day—valentines (especially vintage and/or children’s valentines) and conversation hearts. Whatever those images inspire, run with it. It doesn’t have to be about love (l-u-v) or Valentine’s Day, or even explicitly mention either conversation hearts or valentines. Then again, if it is about/does mention some or all of those things, that’s great, too.
Sonnets. Yep, this month you get a possible form if none of the themes work for you. I chose it because when I think love poem I think sonnet. (When I say love poem you say sonnet. Love poem! Sonnet! Love poem! Sonnet! …I’m sorry. I don't know why I'm like this.) Your sonnet does not have to be a love poem, though it can be. And you don’t have to write a traditional sonnet, either. Some ways you could go with it include: a traditional-in-form sonnet that deals with an un-sonnet-like subject; a sonnet that rhymes but is in a more conversational/modern tone; a non-rhyming sonnet. (I’m super interested in non-rhyming sonnets, but if you’re doing that you have to make sure it sticks to the 14-line structure, and you should pay close attention to rhythm. I’m not a stickler for iambic pentameter but there should be a good rhythm to it.)
Celebration (and/or) atonement. I was thinking about Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, how one is a party and the next is a day of repentance and re-dedication to faith, and that’s when this idea arose. Give me a piece that features celebration or atonement or both. It can deal with religious ideas, like going to the bar on Saturday night and then going to church the next morning. It can be something completely non-religious—are there parts of yourself that can be either cause for celebration or things you feel you need to atone for, depending on the situation? There are a lot of possibilities with this one. Get wild.
Green (and/or) luck. Obviously, I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day when I came up with these. I’m not necessarily looking for St. Patrick’s Day poems or stories (though, again, those are fine). Just give me riffs on whatever one or both of those words evokes/invokes for you. The color green and all its myriad shades; money; jealousy; naivety; etc. Being wished ‘good luck’; “Born Under a Bad Sign”; superstitions revolving around luck; horseshoes and rabbits feet and four-leaf clovers; etc.
I’ll be accepting submissions of poetry, prose, art, and photography relating to the above from now (February 3, 2018) until March 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm, CST. Work will be published on a rolling basis starting on February 10 and going through March 17. You can find the submission guidelines at the end of this post, or they can always be found here.
Monthly theme submission guidelines: first, make sure you know what the current theme/topic/prompt is. Second, make sure you’ve read what I’m looking for and what I’m not looking for (cuz it all applies to the blog as well as the manuscript submissions). Then, submit 1-3 relevant poems or shorter prose pieces or one longer piece (max. 2000 words, give or take), to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Bone & Ink Blog Submission_[Your Name]_[Theme]_[Specify Poetry/Prose/Art/Photography]. (I.e., Bone & Ink Blog Submission_Jessie Lynn McMains_Sonnets_Poetry). You can attach the work as a .doc, .docx, or .pages file, or include it in the body of the email. If the formatting doesn’t copy+paste well, please attach the work as .jpeg files. If you’re a visual artist or photographer and have something relevant to the current theme, please send 1-3 art pieces or photographs (attached as .jpeg files). I will not accept previously published pieces for the blog, with the exception of pieces posted on personal websites or blogs; same goes for art and photography. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but let me know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. In the body of the email, include a bio, and links to your website/blog/social media page/etc. You can expect to hear from me within 1-2 weeks.